Thursday, 26 July 2012

Special Feature: Handmade in Keswick

When Lu from Handmade in Keswick kindly agreed to do a feature about me on her blog a short while ago, I asked her if she would reciprocate, so that I could do a feature about her on my blog and here it is! 

Lu in her own words:
“My name is Lu Smith and I am designer, maker and chief bottle washer at Handmade in Keswick.”

“I think I was a creative child. I had a little Hornby train and a bit of track, and made trees out of bits of sponge and green food colouring, and I was recently reminded that I made resin jewellery (I’ve been playing with resin again in the past few weeks).”

“As I got a little older, I started making my own clothes out of jumble sale finds (who remembers that we had jumble sales before they became car boot sales and Ebay?). I was self taught with absolutely nil technical knowledge – I’m not sure that I would’ve managed the sleek glamorous look that teenagers seem to achieve so naturally these days.”

“I went to Norwich School of Art and Epsom School of Art and Design and continued along the lines of finding the most difficult way of achieving what I wanted. I was always trying to reinvent the wheel whilst everyone else had already pedalled round the world once, and I wasn’t the most gifted/talented student. I think the biggest thing I took from my training was to ‘just play with stuff’.”

“I trained as a jeweller, but I think the nearest pigeon hole, if I can fit into it, is mixed media artist. I make pictures, sew stuff, make jewellery, and anything else that takes my fancy. I’ve always reused junk and a few years ago, I came out of a creative drought (we all have them don’t we?) to find that I’m finally part of a trend.”
Example of Lu's face drawings
“Inspiration hits me right left and centre (and I wish I had three times the energy to keep up). I was obsessed with faces for a while, but now I’m taken with a bit of architecture, and of course the area where I live is so rich in colour (especially if you like your colour green) and texture, and line, and smell and sound and…well you get the idea. I walk my dog early in the mornings, and I’m always seeing something new.”
Lu's dog

“When I think about it, I think I look on my whole life as a bit of an experiment. My latest thing includes jumping in with social media and using it to promote my work in ways that I hadn’t even heard until recently (I was bit of late starter), and I’m still reinventing that wheel.”
"I currently sell on Folksy and Etsy and also use Creative Connections and their promotional CRAFTfest to drive business towards my shops"
"You can follow me on:"
I hope you have enjoyed reading about Lu Smith from Handmade in Keswick and her creativity.  I certainly have! We do have some things in common – I make notebooks and jounals too and I also have a history of drawing the human figure including faces!  Do take the opportunity to visit Lu's shop.

If you are interested in being featured on my blog please contact me via folksy messages or leave a note on my facebook page.


  1. Great blog Edwina.
    Very interesting read about where Lu gets her inspiration from.
    I do admire artists and wish I could draw. My pictures always turn out to be stick figures! :)
    I need some fabric with a design on it to get my imagination going.
    Lu has some very unusual pictures in her shop.